Friday, Oct. 18 approximately 200 third grade students from Arcohe, River Oaks, Lake Canyon and Marengo Ranch elementary schools visited Liberty Ranch High School for its annual Fall Ag Day, where the FFA students gave the youngsters hands-on experience in the agricultural world.
The students were broken into groups led by an FFA member and rotated through 11 stations. The 11 stations were Agriculture and the Environment; Culture, Society and the Economy; Food and Healthy Lifestyles; Plants and Animals for Food; Science, Technology, and Math; Water Conservation; Food Waste; Petting Zoo, Animal Care; Pumpkin Patch, Proper Pumpkin Selection and Hayride; California Bees; and UC Davis Entomology & Bugs. Halfway through the rotation, students headed to the field for a quick healthy snack before they continued to their next station.
The entire event was led by the ag leadership students with the help of fellow FFA members and teachers. The core group planned and prepared for over two months to entertain, but more importantly educate the visiting elementary students.
Some of that preparation included writing and illustrating a book about the different uses for pumpkins and the process they go through. The book was written and illustrated by leadership students Austin Davis, Samantha Bauer and Jaelyn Farris.
Ag students read the book to the third graders at the pumpkin picking station, after which each elementary student was able to pick a small pumpkin to take home.
Liberty Ranch junior Luke Powers said that he had fun teaching the younger students, but his favorite part was being able to teach about the importance of agriculture.
Asked what he thought was the most rewarding part of the event, Powers replied: “Knowing that the kids know more about where their food comes from, and they will spread what they learned.”
Hannah Parker, a senior, and Teddy Lopez, a junior, both agreed that the most challenging part of the event was timing the lessons to start and end on time.
Lopez worked at the ag equipment station, which sported shiny new tractors. He said his favorite part was seeing the kids get excited about being able to see and get on the tractors. But the most rewarding part for Lopez was when the students were able to recite the information taught to them and, more importantly, expand on it.
Helping the students plant seeds at her station, Parker said that what she found the most rewarding was when the kids would express how much fun they had.
The agriculture students and teachers would like to thank the following for making the annual Fall Ag Day a success: Davis Ranch, Jim Welch Hay, River Rats Portable Toilets, BD Ranch, UC Davis Bohart Museum, Kubota Tractors, John Hospenthal, Peter VanWarmerdam and Galt Raley’s.